News: Metro Bank announces opening hours review, prepares for 800 job cuts

Strategic HR

Metro Bank announces opening hours review, prepares for 800 job cuts

The bank plans to reassess its existing seven-day opening and extended store hours, initiating discussions with the Financial Conduct Authority to navigate and mitigate any potential impacts on customers resulting from reduced operational hours.
Metro Bank announces opening hours review, prepares for 800 job cuts

Metro Bank is all set to slash approximately 800 jobs before the end of March and revaluate its distinctive seven-days-a-week branch structure following an intensified drive to curtail expenses following a recent multimillion-pound rescue deal.

This decision to reduce a fifth of its 4,000-member workforce comes after a comprehensive reassessment of the cost structure, revealing potential annual savings of up to £50 million, reported The Guardian. 

The bank aims to achieve these savings by exploring automation opportunities and potentially scaling back operating hours across its 76 branches, a move initially estimated to save £30 million before the recent rescue deal of £925 million.

The rescue deal, secured in early October, prevented a potential breakup or acquisition by another UK bank. Instead, the Colombian billionaire Jaime Gilinski Bacal, now owning a 53% stake, assumed control of Metro Bank from its co-founder, the US billionaire Vernon Hill, who established the bank in 2010.

Bacal's reputation for rejuvenating struggling financial institutions, particularly in Latin America, aligns with Metro Bank's heightened cost-cutting drive. Staff costs presently contribute to about 45% of the bank's total expenditures, a significant factor for the first new UK high street lender in 150 years, initially known for its emphasis on in-person banking.

Daniel Frumkin, the CEO, emphasised the bank's commitment to maintaining its presence in stores and the high street while transitioning toward a more cost-effective business model. Frumkin highlighted that these strategic shifts, combined with other cost-saving initiatives, are anticipated to generate savings of up to £50 million annually.

Metro Bank plans to streamline its operations, investing in service and back-office automation while enhancing digital channels, particularly for deposit-related services. Despite a projected 20% reduction in headcount, the bank reaffirms its commitment to areas of growth, including plans to extend its branch network into northern England.

The bank intends to review its current seven-day opening and extended store hours, engaging in discussions with the Financial Conduct Authority to address potential impacts on customers arising from reduced operational hours.

Anticipated to result in a one-off charge ranging from £10 million to £15 million, the cost-cutting initiative is slated for completion by March. 

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Topics: Strategic HR, #Layoffs, #HRTech, #HRCommunity

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